Baby taken from Occupy Miami residents

Woman could legally lose baby after ambulance calls stopped

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI - A newborn who would have been the first baby born at Occupy Miami if the occupiers had their way is in the care of the state, as her parents try to figure out how to regain custody. 

Shannon Welch was ultimately rushed by ambulance to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she gave birth Nov. 15. 

Though police officers stationed at the camp tried to call ambulances days earlier, occupiers pressed to have her give birth right there at the tent camp. 

"They said, ‘You should have the baby here, because that'll be the first baby at Occupy Miami,'" Welch said. 

Aaron Pabon, who identified himself as a journalist documenting Occupy Miami, said the occupiers wanted the symbolism of a birth at their camp on the west lawn of Miami-Dade County Hall. 

"One of the things about Occupy is they want to make the camp self-sustaining. They want to make it a legitimate city," said Pabon. 

The Welches did not appear for a court hearing about their daughter Monday morning. Their lawyers, public defenders, and state social workers said they had no contact information to reach them and did not know about their tent at Occupy Miami. The state considers the couple homeless. 

The Welches said they did not come from Kansas to Miami to be part of the movement, but moved in at the request of a friend. 

Their next hearing about their newborn daughter is scheduled in three weeks.  

The baby is currently in a foster home. 

"I really want her back," said George Welch. "I don't care how hard I have to fight for her."

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